Nuclear receptors, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and macrophage function

Sara Lamorte, Rahul Shinde, Tracy L. McGaha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nuclear receptors (NRs) are key regulators of innate immune responses and tissue homeostasis. Evidence indicates that NRs significantly impact steady-state immune regulation, uptake and processing of apoptotic cells, tolerance induction, and control of inflammatory immunity. In this review, we describe our current understanding of the NR activity for balancing inflammation and tolerance, the signaling cascade inducing the NR activation and functional responses, and different mechanisms of the NR-driven immune effects in the context of autoimmune diseases. We further describe the ligand-activated transcription factor the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) that exhibits analogous functionality. Moreover, we will discuss the putative role of NRs and AhR in immune regulation and disease pathogenesis providing a rationale for therapeutic targeting as a unique opportunities in the clinical management of autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100942
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • Autoimmunity
  • Efferocytosis
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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